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          • Porreco partners with Penelec to train utility line workers

          Porreco partners with Penelec to train utility line workers

          December 22, 2014

          Porreco partners with Penelec to train utility line workers

          Porreco College is partnering with the Pennsylvania Electric Company (Penelec), a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., to offer Penelec's award-winning educational program designed to train the next generation of utility line workers.

          The Power System Institute is a two-year program that combines hands-on utility skills taught at a Penelec training facility in Erie with technical coursework at Porreco College. Program graduates will earn an Associate of Applied Science(AAS) with a concentration in electric utility technology.

          “The Power Systems Institute already has provided Penelec with more than 130 highly qualified employees who are working in the field today, using the training they received from this unique program to help keep the lights on for customers,” said Scott Wyman, regional president, Penelec. “We look forward to developing this training partnership with Porreco College because it offers a great opportunity for someone interested in a career in the utility industry.”

          “Having the FirstEnergy Power Systems Institute program presents a unique opportunity to form a new partnership with an important member of the Pennsylvania business community while expanding the curriculum at our campus” said Edinboro University President Dr. Julie E. Wollman. 

          FirstEnergy introduced PSI in 2000 as a way to help replace retiring workers. Programs were established with colleges throughout the company’s six-state service area. With the economic downturn, in 2011 most of the Power Systems Institute programs were placed on hold because projected hiring needs did not support bringing in new students.

          As future manpower needs at FirstEnergy were re-evaluated, the decision was made to reinstate the PSI programs for the fall of 2015, including the new program in Erie.

          A maximum of 24 students per year will be accepted into the program.  In addition to learning the essentials and the hands-on skills necessary for becoming an electric utility worker, students also will enroll in academic elective courses including economics, applied physics and English composition.  Students in the program will receive first aid and CPR certifications and a Class A Commercial Driver’s License. 

          Program openings are limited, and applicants will be assessed through a competitive, multi-step process.  An orientation program for prospective candidates will take place Saturday, Feb. 7, from 10 a.m. to noon in the Frank G. Pogue Student Center Multipurpose Room on the Edinboro campus.  For more information, please visit or call (800) 829-6801.

          Penelec serves approximately 600,000 customers in 31 Pennsylvania counties.  Connect with Penelec on Twitter @Penelec and on Facebook at

          FirstEnergy is a diversified energy company dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence.  Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York.  Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.

          Located just outside the city of Erie on 26 acres in Millcreek Township, Porreco College is committed to providing individual attention to student success through college preparatory coursework, academic programs, and continuing education designed to meet the educational needs of students, employers, and the community at large.

          Porreco College, the Community’s College, works closely with employers to develop needed skills in the region’s workforce and offers affordable, high-quality associate degrees and certificate programs that prepare students for employment.